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William Shatner became the oldest person to travel to the edge of space today. The 90-year-old actor joined Blue Origin, the aerospace company founded by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, for its second-ever human spaceflight.
The Star Trek legend was joined by three other passengers: Audrey Powers, Blue Origin’s vice president of mission and flight operations; Glen de Vries, a co-founder of the medical research platform Medidata Solutions; and Chris Boshuizen, a co-founder of the Earth-observation company Planet.
The crew launched in a New Shepard rocket from Blue Origin’s West Texas launch site just before 11 a.m. ET, reaching an altitude of 351,185 feet before returning to Earth 11 minutes later.
“Everybody in the world needs to do this,” Shatner told reporters afterward. “It was unbelievable. The little things, the weightless[ness], but to see the blue color whip by you and now you’re staring into blackness. And then it’s gone. It was so moving. This experience did something unbelievable.”
Shatner was emotional while thanking Blue Origin owner Jeff Bezos. “What you have given me is the most profound experience. I’m so filled with emotion about what just happened. It’s extraordinary. Extraordinary.”
The Trek icon continued, “I hope I never recover from this. I hope that I can maintain what I feel now. I don’t want to lose it. It’s so much larger than me—and life.”
Wednesday’s flight arrives just three months after Blue Origin’s first human voyager, which saw Bezos and his brother Mark launch into space alongside 82-year-old crew member Wally Funk and 18-year-old Oliver Daemen, who became the youngest person ever to travel to space.